Top 5 Easiest Languages For English Speakers To Learn Today
So, you have decided to learn a new language, fantastic! People are motivated by many different reasons to learn a new language. These include going on vacation and wanting to know the language of the people, getting a new work assignment as well for personal reasons.
Being bilingual in today’s world can be considered an asset as the world has been reduced to a global village. To determine the ease of learning a new language is not as simple because many factors come into play.
Someone’s dedication to learning is a big factor. Also, what might be easy for one is not necessarily easy for another.
It is a very subjective endeavor. Some languages, however, can be considered easy based on the shared vocabulary with your own language and the simplicity in grammar.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the United States government’s diplomatic training agency that prepares diplomats to serve at embassies and consulates around the world.
This preparation includes foreign language training. According to the FSI, through research, the easiest languages to learn for English speakers are Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.
Just like English, Norwegian is a member of the Germanic family of languages. Therefore, the languages share quite a bit of vocabulary, such as the seasons vinter and sommer. Norwegian grammar is pretty straightforward, with only one form of each verb per tense.
This also acts as a selling point for the language majorly spoken in Norway. Mastering sentence structure is easy when learning Norwegian.
Another reason it is considered easy is that there is no correct and wrong way to pronounce words in Norwegian. That’s because there is are vast array of different accents in Norway.
Dutch, spoken in the Netherlands and a large portion of Belgium’s population is English’s first cousin, the only language more closely related to either one is Frisian.
Dutch is full of English cognates such as drinken (to drink), kat (cat), week (week), licht (light) and hundreds more. Once you’ve got the most basic fundamentals down, you are good to go.
Unlike most languages, many words in Dutch are spelled exactly the same as they are in English. For example, saying ‘Hi, welcome’ in Dutch is, “Hallo, welkom”. Pretty close to English huh?
French has a tremendous influence on the English language. Their shared vocabulary makes the two languages quite similar. During the long history of wars and conquests between France and England, key language parts were passed from one country to the other.
French is spoken by nearly 76 million people in many different parts of the world and is considered the language of love. French accents are all over pop culture making the seemingly difficult accent easier to master.
Romance languages including Italian and Romanian have their roots in Latin and the majority of the English vocabulary comes from Latin.
Spanish is an international language that is spoken in many parts of the world. According to recent findings, Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world, with over 400 million native speakers.
It is one of the Romance languages, which derive from Latin. Spanish has consistent spelling rules. It has a very regular writing system and it’s full of cognates with English.
The pronunciation is easy as well because its words are pronounced the way they’re spelled.
In Spanish, learners always appreciate that a always sounds more or less like a, with or without an accent mark. For example, pizza is “pizza,” correcto means “correct,” and delicioso is “delicious”.
Swahili is a language spoken on the Eastern parts of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Swahili is quickly catching up around the globe because of the ease of learning the language. Its pronunciation is easy and the words often sound just like they’re spelled.
Swahili said to be the easiest African language for English natives to learn.
It has a surprising amount of loan words taken from English, like penseli (“pencil”) and mashine (“machine”).